Cork University Hospital had to make an appeal for clinical staff to volunteer shifts to help deal with the pressure on its intensive care unit last night. 

The HSE's Chief Clinical Officer, Dr Colm Henry, said the request came after the hospital attempted to open three or four critical beds, in addition to the 23 it already had open. 

CUH said its ICU is currently under pressure due to staff shortages and it requested "support from staff and from the wider clinical community to do additional shifts in ICU over the coming week". 

The hospital said there was an "excellent response to this request" and thanked those "who are making themselves available to support the hospital at this critical time". 

Dr Henry said that consultants and nurses were among those volunteering shifts to open the extra beds and provide care for the patients.